Article Archive
Emergency Services Training Institute
BP extends invitation to LNG neighbors
Volume 23, No. 1

Mutual aid means being ready not just for what happens at your plant, but at neighboring plants as well. For that reason two Sunoco fire officials were on hand for the semi annual LNG fire training school conducted by BP in October.

Sunoco's 179,000 barrel-per-day Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania is across the Delaware River from a planned BP LNG terminal to be located at Logan Township, N.J. The project is working through the permitting phase and anticipates construction commencing in 2009, with operational start up in 2012.

William C. Kelly, fire & emergency services supervisor for Sunoco's northeast refineries, and Rick Croff, fire marshal for the Marcus Hook refinery were on hand for fall LNG school held at the Texas Engineering Extension Services' Emergency Services Training Institute in College Station, TX.

"BP is building a facility directly across the river from us," Croff said. "Their docks will be directly across from our loading docks. BP invited us down here to get more information on LNG and eliminate some of the concern."

The LNG fire school provides participants a mix of training including classroom studies and live-fire field exercises. During the field exercises, firefighters observe the characteristics of an LNG spill, ignition of that spill, and then apply various techniques for extinguishing or controlling the fire.

It was Croff's first trip to ESTI with regard to LNG training. However, Croff had visited the fire school three times before for training in industrial fire fighting.

In March, four local firefighters from Gloucester County participated in the BP-sponsored Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fire training academy at ESTI.

"All of this is to get local emergency responders familiar with the characteristics of LNG and give them the skills and experience to safely manage an LNG incident should one ever occur," said Dan McCoy, safety and security manager for BP's Crown Landing LNG project.? "The combination of classroom and field exercises provides a robust training regimen that has been highly rated by participants from Gloucester County."

In total, BP has provided training to 100 firefighters in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Many of those trained participated in a fire training session in 2005 at the Gloucester County fire training grounds now managed by Gloucester County College.? BP brought instructors from Texas A&M to the local training field and conducted similar training there, including live-fire exercises. Seventy-six men and women from area departments participated in that session.

"The training is effective because these fires are as real as you can get in a safe environment," McCoy said. "As any professional firefighter will tell you, knowing and understanding proper techniques for dealing with various types of fires is key to responding effectively and safely in each situation."

BP funded development and expansion of the LNG fire training facility to provide a venue for training its staff and community first responders on proper techniques for managing LNG incidents. The company brings operations staff from its facilities and firefighters from communities around the world to participate in LNG training at Texas A&M.


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